The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Feb 14, 2012

The Borscht Film Festival heads to South by Southwest

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

The Borscht Film Festival, a Knight Arts grantee, is heading west next month as four of its shorts were selected for the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival.  The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke (Narrative Shorts competition), Reinaldo Arenas (Narrative Shorts competition)I Am Your Grandma (Midnight Shorts competition) and Jacuzzi Boys: Glazin (Midnight Shorts competition) will all be making the trip to Austin, TX March 9-17.

The short films are four of 135 selected by SXSW from 3,300 worldwide submissions. The Midnighters section boasts titles that promise to "rouse, haunt and thrill" while the Narrative Short selections exemplify "distinctive and genuine storytelling.”

Borscht Corp. commissioned three of the four films as part of its 2011 program, which screened as a “working cut” at Borscht’s 2011 festival in front of a capacity crowd of over 1,700 in April 2011 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. “We are honored to be selected to the SXSW Festival” says Borscht Corp. founder Lucas Leyva. “It is validation for all the hard work and support given to Borscht by the entire community with the belief that the films created in this city can hang with the best in the world. We hope to do Miami stories justice.”

“The Borscht Film Festival tells pure, only-in-Miami stories that help forge a new cinematic identity for South Florida," adds said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation's vice president/arts. "Locally, theater-goers are hungry for these films, and their themes will resonate with audiences at Sundance and beyond."

Read on for profiles of the four selected films:

I AM YOUR GRANDMA: SXSW Midnight Shorts Selection An autobiographical video diary log (vlog) that Jillian Mayer records for her unborn grandchildren. Envisioned as an authentic solution to fleshing out the detached model of the family tree, Mayer hearkens to bygone times when ancestors could glimpse one another through a locket or lock of hair. Director/ Writer: Jillian Mayer. Producer: Mayer/Leyva, Borscht Corp. LIFE AND FREAKY TIMES OF UNCLE LUKE: Narrative Shorts Selection Freaky Times is a modern Miami adaptation of the 1962 French short film La Jetée, and recounts Campbell’s rise to fame as he changes the face of hip-hop and fights for First Amendment rights – and later as he ushers Miami into a golden era of peace and prosperity as mayor. Everything changes when a nuclear meltdown at Turkey Point turns Miami into a radioactive wasteland filled with mutants, and Campbell is the only survivor left unscathed. Freaky Times premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2012 Director: Jllian Mayer. Writer: Lucas Leyva. Producers: Borscht Corp., Rakontur. Mayer/Leyva Notable Cast: Luther Campbell (Uncle Luke of 2 Live Crew)

REINALDO ARENAS: SXSW Narrative Shorts Selection Told from the point of view of a dying shark, 'Reinaldo Arenas' metaphorically captures the current state of the aging Cuban-American exile community, many of whom have still not come to terms with the Communist Revolution that changed their lives forever. The film culls from various Cuban films and works of literature to create not a singular voice, but a feeling of a particular moment in time. Director/ Writer: Lucas Leyva. Producer: Mayer/ Leyva, Borscht Corp. Notable Cast: Alberto Ibarguen

GLAZIN: JACUZZI BOYS: SXSW Midnight Shorts Selection "Glazin" is part of a larger narrative where a group of 6 anonymous girls innocently paint their privates and rig them to lip-synch their favorite song as a gift to the band. Director: Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer. Writers: Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer. Producer: Mayer/Leyva Music: Jacuzzi Boys. Notable Cast: The Jacuzzi Gals, Shivers Thedog

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